The Glory Of Unwrapping Album-Sized Spy Seal Volume One From Image

by Hannah Means Shannon

Remember when everyone said, “Let’s support Rich Tommaso’s awesome comics by buying the collected volume of Spy Seal”? Well, now’s your chance. And if you didn’t say that, have a look at the pictures below and reevaluate your life choices.

Spy Seal, the Tintin-like reimagining of the super spy genre through rather dashingly clad animals, is a masterpiece of comic art, combining the sensibilities and humor of globe-trotting tales gone by with a modern questioning of the art style and form they took. In short, it’s a beautiful book. Then they made it even BETTER by printing it in album size.

We don’t usually think about the fact that comics are kind of small in their dimensions, probably because the artwork is so lavish and pleasing on many books, or, if you’re like me, because you hold a comic as close to your face as possible to pick up all the details. But when you suddenly hold an oversized edition or something published like a European album size, your heart just skips a beat. I gotta tell you that you should not miss out on this experience.

Here’s a walk through my experience unwrapping a copy of Spy Seal Volume One: The Corten Steel Phoenix, which I had legitimately forgotten was being published in album size until I broke it open, and that doubled my awe-struck reaction.

It appears above with a rather large water bottle to show you the relative size of this beast.

Though it’s a relatively floppy card-covered paperback, interior endpapers were designed and included. They are fabulous! They recreate putting your name in the front of the book on picture books and in Tintin album books.

And then comes the art:

It’s giant and the colors are so crisp and fabulous that the whole story comes to life in new ways. The rapid jumps between locations take on an added intensity when the issues of the series flow together into one narrative.

There’s also a greater sense of novelistic characterization, building up tensions drama between characters when you read it as a single narrative. And I have to add again, the art!!

Don’t miss out on Spy Seal Volume One: The Corten Steel Phoenix, when it arrives in comic shops from Image Comics next week on Wednesday, January 17th 2018.

And remember to keep an eye out for Tommaso’s new work coming up at Image including Dry County and, eventually, more Spy Seal!

If you follow Tommaso on Twitter, you’ll find plenty of teasers for what’s coming up.